Melissa Constanzer, a professional broadcast meteorologist with AccuWeather, will run for miles in temperatures ranging from 9 degrees above zero to 97 degrees above zero.
That wide spectrum of commitment to getting outside combined with her thorough knowledge and passion for weather is why she is our Wonder Guide for episode 14.
Stories that Help Everyone
Despite her vast knowledge of math and science, Melissa knows that her main job is to tell a story with weather. A story that will help others know more about their environment and be able to stay safe and healthy.
When you watch a meteorologist like Melissa you may assume that she's following along on script written by others. But most often that's not the case.
She's the one picking the graphics, the sequence, the emphasis - in other words, telling a story to us that keeps our attention and keeps us informed.
Green Screen Choreography
And she does all of that while using multiple monitors, mirrors, touch screens - while keeping it all smooth and steady on live television.
It's a lot to juggle but Melissa's confidence with all the many tasks is why she's been a successful meteorologist in Wisconsin, Alabama and now at AccuWeather.
Terms and More Terms
Our conversation ranges widely and we dig into the many fascinating terms around weather including: transpiration, vortex, corn sweat, Dixie Alley, density, Blue Norther and a weather phenomenon I had never heard of before; graupel.
It's All Science and Math.
For anyone interested in a career in meteorology be sure to keep up that STEM side of your education! Melissa prefers physics and earth science to biology. That understanding, combined with observing the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, is what led her to become a meteorologist.
Melissa was deeply affected by the power and destruction of Katrina and feeling motivated to help people, decided to pursue meteorology.
"The more information you can give them, the more power they have to make the proper decision."
Melissa also knows that weather is the common bond between people - a topic that builds community. She describes her most important mission as helping people get out and discover reasons to love where they live. She knows, first hand, that this will make you a happier person.
Hurricanes, Ozarks & Water Spouts, Oh My!
We also talk about the water cycle, all kinds of clouds, the jet stream and exactly why hurricanes travel in the direction that they do! (Hint: it has to do with the sun's energy hitting mostly at the equator. Melissa's passion for weather, her command of the science and her need to simply unplug and go outside is a great gift to all of us so be sure to listen to all of episode 14!
Carrie Underwood's Blown Away In Where Art Meets Nature with DJ Shark we analyze the multiple award-winning song, Blown Away by Carrie Underwood. The metaphors of thunderstorms and tornadoes dominate this compelling and moving story about a girl's struggle with an abusive and alcoholic father.
3 x 3 Main Street Challenge Since Mobile, Alabama was a stopping point for Melissa's career we are going to start at a BBQ Restaurant at 3103 West Main Street called McMillan Bar-B-Que.